Surely, there are a few people who wonder what becomes of all their earthly possessions when they die.
Many seek counsel to prepare properly for this inevitability.
Acting on the knowledge sought, and making well informed decisions, is equally important as it allows an individual make plans that are most beneficial to their memories, properties, and dependents.
In this post we examine different scenarios that might come to life when a person has in place a concrete plan for devolution of property after death, or otherwise.
Where there is a Will
Where an individual writes a Will before his death, his properties will be dissolved in accordance with the prescription in his Will.
The Will usually has a part known as “Appointment Clause”. Under this section of the will, the owner of the Will (the deceased person now known as “testator”) appoints the persons to handle his properties after his death.
These persons, called “executors”, are entitled to apply for probate at the Probate Registry.
When probate is granted, they become personal representatives of the deceased person. This allows them to administer the deceased’s properties, pay debts and share the remainder of the properties based on the instructions in the Will.
Where no Will exists
In a situation where a deceased person leaves no Will, what happens to the deceased’s possessions depends on under what law he is married, if married at all. When a deceased is married in court or in a licensed church (Marriage under the Act), the deceased’s properties become those of his/her spouse (husband or wife) and children that are born in the marriage.
Any of these people can apply for and be granted Letter of Administration at the Probate Registry of the state. This letter makes them become personal representatives of the deceased and allows them administer, manage, or share the deceased’s properties in a accordance with the Administration of Estates Law of the state in which the deceased was domiciled.
Where a deceased person was married under customary law or Islamic law, the administration and sharing of his/her properties are governed by customary law or Islamic law, as the case may be. It should also be pointed out that customs on inheritance vary from one ethnic group to another.
Do you have any questions or thoughts to share? Please use the comment section. We will answer your questions.